">
Elderly man in Scotland dies after contracting H1N1 swine flu virus

December 10th, 2018

Comments ( 0 )

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

An elderly man in Scotland has died after contacting the H1N1 virus, or swine flu. The Scottish Government made the confirmation of the information on Monday.

The victim is said to have been suffering from underlying health problems. He came from the NHS Fife area. With the death of this victim, the number of deaths that have occurred in Scotland from the virus has now reached 30.

Nicola Sturgeon, the Scottish Health Secretary, made a statement about the incident, and encouraged eligible persons to receive antiviral vaccines. “My deepest sympathy goes to the patient’s loved ones at this sad time,” she said.

“H1N1 can be devastating in a small number of cases but fortunately the vast majority of people only suffer fairly mild symptoms and make a full recovery. However, we must all remain vigilant and I would underline the importance of maintaining hygiene standards and urgently seeking medical advice if you believe you are at greater risk of influenza complications.”

">
Wikinews interviews World Wide Web co-inventor Robert Cailliau

December 10th, 2018

Comments ( 0 )

Thursday, August 16, 2007

The name Robert Cailliau may not ring a bell to the general public, but his invention is the reason why you are reading this: Dr. Cailliau together with his colleague Sir Tim Berners-Lee invented the World Wide Web, making the internet accessible so it could grow from an academic tool to a mass communication medium. Last January Dr. Cailliau retired from CERN, the European particle physics lab where the WWW emerged.

Wikinews offered the engineer a virtual beer from his native country Belgium, and conducted an e-mail interview with him (which started about three weeks ago) about the history and the future of the web and his life and work.

Wikinews: At the start of this interview, we would like to offer you a fresh pint on a terrace, but since this is an e-mail interview, we will limit ourselves to a virtual beer, which you can enjoy here.

Robert Cailliau: Yes, I myself once (at the 2nd international WWW Conference, Chicago) said that there is no such thing as a virtual beer: people will still want to sit together. Anyway, here we go.

Contents

  • 1 History of the WWW
  • 2 Future of the WWW
  • 3 Final question
  • 4 External links
">
Mozilla, Creative Commons, Wikimedia Foundation announce Bassel Khartabil Free Culture fellowship following execution of open culture activist

December 10th, 2018

Comments ( 0 )

This article mentions the Wikimedia Foundation, one of its projects, or people related to it. Wikinews is a project of the Wikimedia Foundation.

Monday, August 14, 2017

On Friday, several free knowledge, culture and open source oriented organisations — Creative Commons, Mozilla, and the Wikimedia Foundation, amongst others — collectively announced a three-year commitment for a free-culture fellowship to honour Bassel Khartabil’s continuing influence on the open web, during the Wikimedia’s annual conference Wikimania in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. Palestinian-Syrian Khartabil was held in captivity under the Syrian government starting in 2012 and went silent in prison in 2015. Early this month his wife confirmed Khartabil had been executed in 2015.

Khartabil worked as a computer engineer and contributed to Mozilla and Wikipedia. A supporter of free access to knowledge and culture, Khartabil co-founded Syria’s first hackerspace, Aiki Lab, and led Creative Commons’ Syrian project.

The fellowship to honour Khartabil aims to promote free culture in various forms, including art, music, software, and community. On their official blog, Creative Commons said they would encourage applications from the Levant, Middle East, and North Africa.

Amazon Web Services is to act as a supporting partner and the fellows would receive a stipend of US$50 thousand over the course of ten months. The fellowship is to be awarded on a one-year basis, which could be renewed. Additionally, the organisations are to provide up to US$3000 for the candidates to purchase equipment and software.

Promoting candidates from “closed societies” from the countries with a history of oppression of freedom of expression and access to free knowledge, the fellowship laid three requirements for the eligibility. The applicants must have a history of contribution to the open source/access or free culture communities, and propose in their application an initiative promoting free culture values, and in which the fellowship would be their primary work focus. The fellowship applications are to be accepted from February, and the fellowship is to be awarded in April.

Apart from contributing to Mozilla and Red Hat, Bassel Khartabil developed “Aiki”, an open source framework which is currently used by Open Clip Art and Open Font Library. He was listed among Top Global Thinkers by Foreign Policy, and given a Digital Freedom Award by the Index on Censorship.

Khartabil was arrested by the Syrian military in March 2012. Following time in a Syrian General Intelligence Directorate facility, nine months after his arrest he was transferred to Adra Prison, and permitted family visits. He was relocated to an undisclosed facility in October 2015, and executed soon after. His wife, Noura Ghazi Safadi, confirmed Khartabil’s death on August 1 via a Facebook post.

">
Category:April 24, 2005

December 9th, 2018

Comments ( 0 )

? April 23, 2005
April 25, 2005 ?
April 24

Pages in category “April 24, 2005”

Ozzy Osbourne’s personal possessions fetch $800,000 for charity

">
Ozzy Osbourne’s personal possessions fetch $800,000 for charity

December 9th, 2018

Comments ( 0 )

Sunday, December 2, 2007

American heavy metal performer Ozzy Osbourne, who became famous as the lead vocalist for Black Sabbath and later as a solo act, has raised more than US$800,000 for The Sharon Osbourne Colon Cancer Program, founded by his spouse Sharon Osbourne at the Cedars Sinai Hospital, by auctioning off personal items.

A number of the items that he auctioned off over the two day period have been seen on his reality TV show The Osbournes, which featured home life with Sharon, Ozzy and their two children. Amongst some of the higher-priced items were a carved walnut Victorian-style custom built pool table which raised $11,250, a painting from Edourad Drouot which fetched $10,500, a pair of Ozzy’s famous round glasses which raised $5,250 and a dog bed given to Sharon by Elton John which sold for $2,375.

Some more famous items were also amongst the 500 lots offered. Ozzy’s black satin coat, complete with bat-wing cape, raised $3,300 and a hand-painted floral cup used regularly on The Osbournes made $1,625. A bronze plaque of a demon’s head that was regularly seen in its position adorning the front door of their house had been expected to go for $800 to $1,200instead raised $8,750. A wire model of the Eiffel Tower from on the kitchen table sold for $10,000, while skull-covered trainers Ozzy had worn reached $2,625. Bidders came from as far away as Germany to buy what they could from his mansion in Beverly Hills, California.

However, three cars included in the auction failed to attract bidders and did not sell. They were a 2006 Bentley Continental Flying Spur, estimated at $160,000 to $180,000, a 2005 Cadillac CTS-V sedan estimated at $30,000 to $40,000 and a 1950 Oldsmobile Futuramic 88 Club Coupe previously owned by author Danielle Steel estimated at $40,000 to $50,000. Sharon had earlier said of the cars “We’re not great car people. They really don’t do a lot for us.

Darren Julien, president of Julien’s Auctions, which organised the two-day sale, said “It did very well. It raised some good money for a very worthy cause.”

“For a celebrity garage sale, it was pretty spectacular.,” he went on. He also commented on the fact that there was fierce competition for the many artworks included. “We had Ozzy fans bidding against these sophisticated fine art buyers, which you don’t see every day. For the most part the metalheads were outbidding the art crowd.”

Cisco sues Apple for iPhone trademark

">
Cisco sues Apple for iPhone trademark

December 8th, 2018

Comments ( 0 )

Friday, January 12, 2007

The iPhone only made its appearance as a prototype and there have been controversies aroused.

The dispute has come up between the manufacturer of the iPhone (which was resented on Wednesday for the first time) – Apple Inc. – and a leader in network and communication systems, based in San JoseCisco. The company claims to possess the trademark for iPhone, and moreover, that it sells devices under the same brand through one of its divisions.

This became the reason for Cisco to file a lawsuit against Apple Inc. so that the latter would stop selling the device.

Cisco states that it has received the trademark in 2000, when the company overtook Infogear Technology Corp., which took place in 1996.

The Vice President and general counsel of the company, Mark Chandler, explained that there was no doubt about the excitement of the new device from Apple, but they should not use a trademark, which belongs to Cisco.

The iPhone developed by Cisco is a device which allows users to make phone calls over the voice over Internet protocol (VoIP).

Endangered Luzon Buttonquail photographed alive by Philippines documentary

">
Endangered Luzon Buttonquail photographed alive by Philippines documentary

December 8th, 2018

Comments ( 0 )

Sunday, February 22, 2009

According to ornithologists, a rare Philippines buttonquail feared to have gone extinct was recently documented alive by a cameraman inadvertently filming a local market, right before it was sold and headed for the cooking pot. Scientists had suspected the species—listed as “data deficient” on the 2008 International Union for Conservation of Nature’s Red List Category—was extinct.

Last month, native bird trappers snared and successfully caught the Luzon Buttonquail (Turnix worcesteri or Worcester’s buttonquail) in Dalton Pass, a cold and wind-swept bird passageway in the Caraballo Mountains, in Nueva Vizcaya, located between Cordillera Central and Sierra Madre mountain ranges, in Northern Luzon.

The rare species, previously known to birders only through drawings based on dead museum specimens collected several decades ago, was identified in a documentary filmed in the Philippines called Bye-Bye Birdie.

British birder and WBCP member Desmond Allen was watching a January 26 DVD-video of a documentary, Bye-Bye Birdie, when he recognized the bird in a still image of the credits that lasted less than a second. Allen created a screenshot, which was photographed by their birder-companion, Arnel Telesforo, also a WBCP member,in Nueva Vizcaya’s poultry market, before it was cooked and eaten.

i-Witness: The GMA Documentaries, a Philippine documentary news and public affairs television show aired by GMA Network, had incorporated Telesforo’s photographs and video footage of the live bird in the documentary, that was created by the TV crew led by Mr Howie Severino. The Philippine Network had not realized what they filmed until Allen had informed the crew of interesting discovery.

Mr Severino and the crew were at that time, in Dalton Pass to film “akik”, the traditional practice of trapping wild birds with nets by first attracting them with bright lights on moonless nights. “I’m shocked. I don’t know of any other photos of this. No bird watchers have ever given convincing reports that they have seen it at all… This is an exciting discovery,” said Allen.

The Luzon Buttonquail was only known through an illustration in the authoritative book by Robert S. Kennedy, et al, A Guide to the Birds of the Philippines. This birders “bible” includes a drawing based on the skins of dead specimens collected a century ago, whereas the otherwise comprehensive image bank of the Oriental Bird Club does not contain a single image of the Worcester’s Buttonquail.

“With the photograph and the promise of more sightings in the wild, we can see the living bill, the eye color, the feathers, rather than just the mushed-up museum skin,” exclaimed Allen, who has been birdwatching for fifty years, fifteen in the Philippines, and has an extensive collection of bird calls on his ipod. He has also spotted the Oriental (or Manchurian) Bush Warbler, another rare bird which he has not seen in the Philippines.

“We are ecstatic that this rarely seen species was photographed by accident. It may be the only photo of this poorly known bird. But I also feel sad that the locals do not value the biodiversity around them and that this bird was sold for only P10 and headed for the cooking pot,” Wild Bird Club of the Philippines (WBCP) president Mike Lu said. “Much more has to be done in creating conservation awareness and local consciousness about our unique threatened bird fauna. This should be an easy task for the local governments assisted by the DENR. What if this was the last of its species?” Lu added.

“This is a very important finding. Once you don’t see a bird species in a generation, you start to wonder if it’s extinct, and for this bird species we simply do not know its status at all,” said Arne Jensen, a Danish ornithologist and biodiversity expert, and WBCP Records Committee head.

According to the WBCP, the Worcester’s buttonquail was first described based on specimens bought in Quinta Market in Quiapo, Manila in 1902, and was named after Dean Conant Worcester.

Since then just a few single specimens have been photographed and filmed from Nueva Vizcaya and Benguet, and lately, in 2007, from Mountain Province by the Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago, Illinois.

Dean Conant Worcester, D.Sc., F.R.G.S. was an American zoologist, public official, and authority on the Philippines, born at Thetford, Vermont, and educated at the University of Michigan (A.B., 1889).

From 1899 to 1901 he was a member of the United States Philippine Commission; thenceforth until 1913 he served as secretary of the interior for the Philippine Insular Government. In 1910, he founded the Philippine General Hospital, which has become the hospital for the poor and the sick.

In October, 2004, at the request of Mr Moises Butic, Lamut CENR Officer, Mr Jon Hornbuckle, of Grove Road, Sheffield, has conducted a short investigation into bird-trapping in Ifugao, Mountain Province, Banaue Mount Polis, Sagada and Dalton Pass, in Nueva Vizcaya.

“Prices ranged from 100 pesos for a Fruit-Dove to 300 pesos for a Metallic Pigeon. Other species that are caught from time to time include Flame-breasted Fruit-Dove and Luzon Bleeding-heart; on one occasion, around 50 of the latter were trapped! All other trapped birds are eaten,” said Hornbuckle. “The main trapping season is November to February. Birds are caught at the lights using butterfly-catching type nets. Quails and Buttonquails were more often shot in the fields at this time, rather than caught, and occasionally included the rare Luzon (Worcester’s) Buttonquail, which is only known from dead specimens, and is a threatened bird species reported from Dalton Pass,” he added.

In August, 1929, Richard C. McGregor and Leon L. Gardner of the Cooper Ornithological Society compiled a book entitled Philippine Bird Traps. The authors described the Luzon Buttonquail as “very rare,” having only encountered it twice, once in August and once in September.

“They are caught with a scoop net from the back of a carabao. Filipino hunters snared them, baiting with branches of artificial red peppers made of sealing wax,” wrote McGregor and Leon L. Gardner. “The various ingenious and effectual devices used by Filipinos for bird-trapping include [the] ‘Teepee Trap’ which consists of a conical tepee, woven of split bamboo and rattan about 3 feet high and 3 feet across at the base, with a fairly narrow entrance. ‘Spring Snares’ were also used, where a slip noose fastened to a strongly bent bamboo or other elastic branch, which is released by a trigger, which is usually the perch of the trap,” their book explained.

A passage from the bird-trap book, which explains why Filipinos had eaten these endangered bird species, goes as follows:

Thousands of birds appear annually in the markets of the Philippine Islands. Snipe, quails, wild ducks, silvereyes, weavers, rails, Java sparrows, parrakeets, doves, fruit pigeons, and many more are found commonly. Some of these are vended in the streets as cage birds; many are sold for food. Most of them are living; practically none has been shot. How are these birds obtained? The people possess almost no firearms, and most of them could ill afford the cost of shells alone. Nevertheless, birds are readily secured and abundantly exposed for sale. In a land which does not raise enough produce to support itself, where the quest for food is the main occupation of life, where the frog in the roadside puddle is angled, the minnow in the brook seined, and the all-consuming locust itself consumed, it is not surprising (though regrettable) that birds are considered largely in the light of dietary additions.Philippine Bird Traps, by Richard C. McGregor and Leon L. Gardner, 1930 Cooper Ornithological Society

A global review of threatened species by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) indicates drastic decline of animal and plant life. This includes a quarter of all mammals, one out of eight birds, one out of three amphibians and 70 percent of plants.

The report, Red List of Threatened Species, is published by IUCN every year. Additionally, a global assessment of the health of the world’s species is released once in four years. The data is compiled by 1,700 experts from 130 countries. The key findings of the report were announced at the World Conservation Congress held in Barcelona, Spain.

The survey includes 44,838 species of wild fauna and flora, out of which 16,928 species are threatened with extinction. Among the threatened, 3,246 are tagged critically endangered, the highest category of threat. Another 4,770 species are endangered and 8,912 vulnerable to extinction.

Environmental scientists say they have concrete evidence that the planet is undergoing the “largest mass extinction in 65 million years”. Leading environmental scientist Professor Norman Myers says the Earth is experiencing its “Sixth Extinction.”

Scientists forecast that up to five million species will be lost this century. “We are well into the opening phase of a mass extinction of species. There are about 10 million species on earth. If we carry on as we are, we could lose half of all those 10 million species,” Myers said.

Scientists are warning that by the end of this century, the planet could lose up to half its species, and that these extinctions will alter not only biological diversity but also the evolutionary processes itself. They state that human activities have brought our planet to the point of biotic crisis.

In 1993, Harvard biologist E.O. Wilson estimated that the planet is losing 30,000 species per year – around three species per hour. Some biologists have begun to feel that the biodiversity crisis dubbed the “Sixth Extinction” is even more severe, and more imminent, than Wilson had expected.

The Luzon Buttonquail (Turnix worcesteri) is a species of bird in the Turnicidae family. It is endemic to the island of Luzon in the Philippines, where it is known from just six localities thereof. Its natural habitat is subtropical or tropical high-altitude grassland, in the highlands of the Cordillera Central, although records are from 150-1,250 m, and the possibility that it frequents forested (non-grassland) habitats cannot be discounted.

The buttonquails or hemipodes are a small family of birds which resemble, but are unrelated to, the true quails. They inhabit warm grasslands in Asia, Africa, and Australia. They are assumed to be intra-island migrants, and breed somewhere in northern Luzon in April-June and that at least some birds disperse southwards in the period July-March.

These Turnicidae are small, drab, running birds, which avoid flying. The female is the more brightly coloured of the sexes, and initiates courtship. Unusually, the buttonquails are polyandrous, with the females circulating among several males and expelling rival females from her territory. Both sexes cooperate in building a nest in the earth, but only the male incubates the eggs and tends the young.

Called “Pugo” (quail) by natives, these birds inhabit rice paddies and scrub lands near farm areas because of the abundance of seeds and insects that they feed on regularly. These birds are characterized by their black heads with white spots, a brown or fawn colored body and yellow legs on males and the females are brown with white and black spots.

These birds are very secretive, choosing to make small path ways through the rice fields, which unfortunately leads to their deaths as well, they are hunted by children and young men by means of setting spring traps along their usual path ways.

Buttonquails are a notoriously cryptic and unobtrusive family of birds, and the species could conceivably occur in reasonable numbers somewhere. They are included in the 2008 IUCN Red List Category (as evaluated by BirdLife International IUCN Red List of Threatened Species). They are also considered as Vulnerable species by IUCN and BirdLife International, since these species is judged to have a ten percent chance of going extinct in the next one hundred years.

Category:May 21, 2006

">
Category:May 21, 2006

December 7th, 2018

Comments ( 0 )

? May 20, 2006
May 22, 2006 ?
May 21

Pages in category “May 21, 2006”

Media in category “May 21, 2006”

United States: Two killed, more than a hundred injured in Amtrak train collision in South Carolina

">
United States: Two killed, more than a hundred injured in Amtrak train collision in South Carolina

December 6th, 2018

Comments ( 0 )

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Early on Sunday morning, Amtrak’s passenger train number 91, the Silver Star, bound for Miami from New York, slammed into a stationary CSX freight train in Cayce, about ten miles (16 km) south of Columbia, capital of the US state of South Carolina. Two Amtrak employees were killed and at least 116 were injured, some seriously.

The two killed were 54-year-old engineer Michael Kempf of Savannah, Georgia, and 36-year-old conductor Michael Cella of Orange Park, Florida. Robert Sumwalt, chairman of the National Transportation Safety Board, told a press conference the passenger train had been diverted into a siding by a switch left “literally locked, with a padlock” in that position.

The collision happened at about 2:35 am local time (0735 UTC) at a switching yard in the small city of Cayce. The Amtrak train, with reportedly 139 passengers and eight employees aboard, collided head on with the freight train, which was parked with no one on board. The Amtrak locomotive and the leading locomotive on the freight train were destroyed; the Amtrak locomotive and some of its passenger cars derailed, and one of those cars was folded in half. Several freight cars were crumpled, Reuters reported. In a press conference, the state governor, Henry McMaster, said the Amtrak locomotive was “barely recognizable” and described it as “a horrible thing to see, to understand the force involved”.

Harrison Cahill, a spokesman for Lexington County, gave a count of 116 injured, up from an initial report of 70; according to Derrec Becker, public information officer for the South Carolina Emergency Management Division, injuries ranged “from cuts and bruises to severe broken bones”. On Monday a Palmetto Health spokesperson said two patients were in serious and two in critical condition at their facilities. A spill of approximately 5,000 gallons of fuel from the freight train posed no safety hazard, according to officials.

Passenger Derek Pettaway told the CNN network that like most others, he had been sleeping when the collision happened. He said Amtrak staff cleared the passengers from the train rapidly, and there was no panic; “I think people were more in shock than anything else”, he said.

“Key to this investigation is learning why the switch was lined that way”, Sumwalt said. Amtrak’s CEO, Richard Anderson, speaking to reporters on Sunday, held CSX responsible; he stated the track in that area is operated by CSX and the signals, which CSX operates, were not working at the time of the collision and a CSX dispatcher was therefore directing the Amtrak train’s movements. Sumwalt noted an automatic monitoring and braking system called positive train control, which was not in use on the stretch of line, could have forestalled the collision.

Several fatal incidents involving Amtrak trains have occurred in the past three months. On December 18, the inaugural train on a new route in Washington state derailed at high speed while crossing above a highway, killing three; on January 31, the driver of a garbage truck was killed in Virginia when he collided with an Amtrak train chartered to take Republican lawmakers to a retreat.

Hackers attack Church of Scientology website

">
Hackers attack Church of Scientology website

December 6th, 2018

Comments ( 0 )

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Wikinews has learned that according to an Internet posting made just over 24 hours ago, the Church of Scientology‘s website is being attacked by hackers, causing the site to shut down.

The attack was launched on Wednesday by a user labelled “Anonymous”, on the website “Insurgency Wiki”, a spinoff of 4chan. The “History” section of the site explains, in a satirical fashion, that the incident was prompted by the Church of Scientology’s attempts to remove a promotional video featuring Scientologist Tom Cruise from YouTube. Though YouTube is complying with the Church of Scientology’s requests to take down the video, other sites such as Gawker.com have stated that they will keep hosting the video.

So far, it’s the Internet: 1, Scientology: 0. But it’s a long game.

Writing in a blog post, Matthew Ingram of The Globe and Mail dubbed the ongoing conflict involving the Church of Scientology’s attempts to remove the Cruise video from the Internet: “Scientology vs. the Internet, part XVII”. He characterized the conflict between the Church of Scientology and anonymous posters of the Cruise video as “another small skirmish in a war that Scientology has been waging for almost 15 years, since the early days of newsgroups such as alt.religion.scientology, which posted internal church documents in 1994. Lawsuits have been filed, mailing lists have been shut down, homes of discussion group participants have been raided and their computers seized — an all-out war.”

Prompted I think by the Tom Cruise video, a new obsession is taking hold on the internet. An insurgency against The Church of Scientology.

One poster admitted to being a part of the effort, writing in a blog post “I have myself, as per instructions, loaded up Gigaloader and started bombarding the Scientology homepage. Theres [sic] something in the hilarious anarchy of the net that produces these ‘events’ every now and again.” The poster wrote that “Prompted I think by the Tom Cruise video, a new obsession is taking hold on the internet. An insurgency against The Church of Scientology.”

“Someone emailed me earlier today talking about a tool a group’s been using to attack the scientology website. It’s an interesting tool, created to overload/create malformed strings and crash a website’s database,” said the post by an unknown author on pigmy.

The Church’s website is currently unreachable. Some individuals reported that when they are able to reach the site, all they get is a message stating, “The word scientology means search for truth…”. As of 15:11 GMT the site was accessible again, but only loads at relatively slow speeds, and by the end of the day Saturday the site was not loading at all.

Posts on the message board for the Scientology-critic site Operation Clambake from Friday theorized that a denial-of-service attack had occurred, and wrote that as of Friday the Scientology.org site was either not loading at all, or loading very slowly. Critics of Scientology at the Internet newsgroup alt.religion.scientology were critical of the attacks to the Church of Scientology website, with one poster writing “How can people look at both sides if one side is gone?”

Traffic to the Scientology website had already increased 18-fold prior to the attack, following increased attention after the Tom Cruise video appeared on the Internet. At that time, one in three visits to the site came from BBC News, and the website increased to number 3 in the company Hitwise UK’s Lifestyle-Religion category.